Friday, August 19, 2011

Living sustainably on a budget: recipe binder

I cannot make anything without a recipe. At home my mom has books, a binder full of recipes, and a box full of torn magazine pages or printed recipes. Now that I will have my own kitchen and I will be cooking for myself (and roommates) on a daily basis, I need to start building my own collection of recipes. Buying recipe books is really not a good options for college students or anyone else who will be moving. They are bulky, I never like more than a few recipes out of them, and they take up way to much room for very little use (not to mention the environmental impact of the production). 

Instead of lugging around books and trying to dig through them for something to eat every day, I am making myself a recipe binder. I have it broken into sections and I am slowly adding recipes I have found online as well as photo copies of some of my favorite recipes from home. A recipe binder is fantastic for tons of reasons: 
- All of your recipes are in one place
- It is only one item to move
- You choose what goes in it, meaning no space is wasted by terrible recipes
- It is tailored to your tastes
- It is incredibly easy to expand and continually build upon. Once you fill up the binder you can break each section into its own binder, or just the largest ones (at home I made our binder into two, desserts and everything else because desserts was our largest section). 

I chose a Greenroom, cardboard binder to hold my recipes. It seems like it would be easy to wash if I make a mess. 

I broke mine up into breakfast, veggies, sides and snacks, mains, and desserts. Feel free to make your dividers any way that makes sense to you.

Right now I only have about 30 recipes in my binder (and the majority are, of course, desserts), but as school gets closer I plan on finding and trying more recipes so I have more options before I have to cook on my own. 

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